Ara Malikian - aramalikian.com
Ara Malikian began studying the violin at an early age with his father. He gave his first concert at the age of 12 and when he was 14 he was invited to study in Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover in Hannover, Germany.
At 15 he was the youngest student to be admitted in this school. Later he continued his studies in the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, at the same time receiving lessons from professors Franco Gulli, Ruggiero Ricci, Ivry Gitlis, Herman Krebbers and members of the Alban Berg Quartet.
He has assimilated the music of other cultures like those of the Middle East (Arab and Jewish), Central Europe (gipsy and Klezmer), Argentina (tango) and Spain (flamenco). With a wide-ranging repertoire, that includes the majority of all the important pieces written for the violin (concerts with orchestra, sonatas and pieces with piano and chamber music) he has also premiered pieces from modern composers like Franco Danatoni, Malcolm Lipkin, Luciano Chailly, Ladislav Kupkovich, Loris Tjeknavorian, Lawrence Roman and Yervand Yernakian. Malikian also plays recitals for solo violin with programs featuring complete cycles of the "24 Caprices" of Paganini, the "6 Sonatas" of Eugène Ysaÿe and the "Sonatas and Partitas" of J.S. Bach.
He has been recognized in numerous competitions, among which are the First Prizes obtained in the International Competitions "Felix Mendelssohn" (1987, Berlin, Germany) and "Pablo Sarasate" (1995, Pamplona, Spain) besides other prizes like those from the competitions "Niccolo Paganini" (Genoa, Italy), "Zino Francescatti" (Marseille, France), "Rodolfo Lipizer" (Gorizia, Italy), "Jeunesses Musicales" (Belgrade, Yugoslavia), "Rameau" (Le Mans, Francia), "International Artists Guild" (New York, USA), and the "International Music Competition of Japan". In 1993 he received the "Prize for Artistic Devotion and Achievement" from the German Ministry of Culture.
He lives in Madrid, where he was the concertmaster of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid (resident orchestra of the Madrid Royal Opera). In Le Boeuf sur le Toit by D. Milhaud, in the version for violin and orchestra, under the direction of Gómez Martínez; and in the "Concerto for Violín and Orchestra in D minor" by Aram Khachaturian under the baton of Jesús López-Cobos. He plays in duo since 1995 with the pianist Serouj Kradjian, also of Armenian origin, with whom he recorded the complete cycle of Sonatas by Robert Schumann (Hänsler) and the record "Miniatures" (Malkrafon), an exquisite anthology of music for violin and piano written by Armenian composers. He has also recorded numerous discs for record companies such as BMG, Auvidis, Trittico Classics and Elite Music, including among many other compositions, "The Four Seasons" of Vivaldi (more than 80,000 copies sold for UNICEF). He also maintains a close collaboration with José Luis Montón. He has also worked with the Lebanese singer Fairuz, the flamenco dancers Joaquín Cortés and Belén Maya, the Ensamble Nuevo Tango and the jazz pianist Horacio Icasto.
He has also worked with film-music composers like Alberto Iglesias, with whom he recorded the soundtrack for Hable Con Ella, a movie by Almodóvar, or Pascal Gainge in Otro Barrio by the director Salvador García Ruiz. Ara Malikian has released albums "Manantial" and "De la felicidad" accompanied by the flamenco guitarist José Luis Montón. This last CD has been nominated by the Spanish Academy of Music for the best New Music CD of the year. With Warner Malikian has also recorded a double CD with some of the most significant works of Paganini, including his "24 Caprices for Violin Solo", an album with some compositions by Sarasate accompanied by the Armenian pianist Serouj Kradjian, the "Six Sonatas" for violin by Ysaÿe and the "Sonatas and Partitas" by J. S. Bach. Ara Malikian has been nominated twice for the best classical performance in the 2007 Music Prizes in Spain given by the Spanish Academy for his recording of the Poema Concertante by Xavier Montsalvatge, along with the Castilla y León Symphonic Orchestra; as well as for a piece with Joan Valent, Suso Sáiz and Marc Blanes.
Vahagni - flamenco ensemble
Los Angeles-based guitarist and composer Vahagni weaves in both, his playing and his compositions, strands from several styles and traditions — flamenco and classical music, Armenian music and jazz. Yet the overall result has a rare, easy-on-the ear quality that belies its many influences.